Request a few features

Asked by Chris V on 2011-12-17

Hello, I just recently started using RedNotebook and I think it is just amazing. I already donated a few dollars.

Most important:
1. I think it would be great to have the option to lock to program with a password.

Not so important:
2. I would like to be able to delete items from my categories list on the left side. At the moment if I want to delete multiple items from my todo list, I have to click on one, scroll to the right, right click and press delete, scroll back the left, and repeat.

3. It would be great to be able to change the category of an item without having to delete it and make a new one. Maybe with a rightclick or drag and drop.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Answered
For:
RedNotebook Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
2011-12-17
Last reply:
2011-12-22
Phil G (philgerlach) said : #1

I too have recently looked into RNB as a journaling app and I agree very much with Chris on the need for password protection. I also have concerns that since the journal is kept in readable text files that one's data can be read by anyone at anytime. Even if you implement password protection, that would not prevent someone from simply opening the stored text files with any text editor. So as a related request:

1b. I would like see the data stored in a unreadable state. Basic encryption is what pops in mind, although I don't know the impacts on performance this would have. Especially with the portable version that I would be using.

HansBKK (hansbkk) said : #2

Note I'm just a fellow user, not involved in development.

--------------------
Re encryption:

I think this feature is often requested, IMO because for many people the use-case for RN is associated with the old dead-tree format "diaries", and therefore imply keeping confidential information.

However this is a very challenging area of coding to get right, and IMO better to have none at all (at least **within** the program) than to have something like Zip files, or Word or Acrobat that **appears** to give security but turns out to be easily broken, giving the users a false sense of security.

My recommendation is to get to know the existing tools out there to provide filesystem-level encryption and then keep your RN data in a container managed by the tool that suits your needs.

The ones that are easiest to use and come with support aren't free, but IMO if it's not open-source it isn't really secure - but that might not matter to you.

For me, TrueCrypt strikes a good balance, and is very popular - once you get it set up it should basically be transparent to you in daily use.

A bit of a kludge, but much easier and apparently "secure enough" for most people, is 7-zip's native format encryption, just requires un/re-zipping the folder before/after each working session.

I would suggest someone researching and doing this taking good notes, and then coming back here to post a step-by-step "HowTo Encrypt Your RedNotebook" in this thread, and the developer could then put that in the documentation.

Such contributions are an alternative way to "give back" to the open-source community that don't require programming skills.

HansBKK (hansbkk) said : #3

--------------------
Regarding the category/tags facility:

I could be wrong, but I believe that this is simply based on text content stored in a "hidden" way within the plain text of your journal entry, so the UI code just scans the data and builds the choices in the menu based on what it finds there. Therefore the current state of affairs is to require a day-record by record remove/ rename/ re-categorize.

I personally find these features a bit limited in RN - it's a great tool for a basic journal, but not (currently) capable for being a full-blown information organizer / knowledge base tool.

My personal workflow is to use RN as the "single source" original drafting location, and then at the end of each day or beginning of the next, I copy out the various chunks and snippets to their "true home" location:
  to-do's (ready to stage as current actions) go into my project management system
  someday/maybe's and project support, brainstorming etc go into my "reference" knowledge base
  date-related items into my scheduling calendar system
  contact information into my address book (actually a CRM)

I leave everything in RN as the "canonical original" in date order so I can (if I want to) go back and review "what the heck was I thinking when I schedule **that**?"

However I never **need** to go back and look at past dates in my normal day-to-day operations, perhaps if another location suffered data loss (should be prevented by my SOP backup procedures).

For an excellent implementation of more robust tagging-based information management I recommend your taking a look at Evernote - I've still stuck with v2.2 because the newer versions are tied in with the cloud (which I don't use) and don't support true hierarchies for domain-specific tagging.

However as I'm migrating more and more over to open-source, I'm currently looking at using Leo (leo-editor), but that's not a normal-user tool, designed more for programmers and quite difficult to figure out, so I'm not recommending that for most people.

Jendrik Seipp (jendrikseipp) said : #4

Regarding encryption I have exactly the same view as HansBKK. If you want though you can subscribe to the bugreport here or post your ideas on how to protect your journal: https://bugs.launchpad.net/rednotebook/+bug/319423

Your other ideas are definitely nice and would make tags easier. I added them to my list of things that might be implemented. However, there's a major refactoring for the tags system in version 1.3 coming up and I'll have to see how your ideas fit in there.

Phil G (philgerlach) said : #5

Thank you very much Hans and Jendrik for fully explaining your thoughts on the privacy concerns. I will certainly check out TrueCrypt and how well it would serve me. Since I'm new to RN though and not yet using it very often, I will have to pass for now on creating an 'encryption tutorial'. Sorry, maybe one of your more seasoned users would be up for it.

Right now I'm using an open source text editor with an encryption plugin, but it lacks all of the tagging and navigation features that RN has. RedNotebook really is a very good jounaling app! Keep up the good work!

If I do decide to use some form of external encryption in tandem with RN though, I would be happy to create a tutorial if it hasn't already been done.

HansBKK (hansbkk) said : #6

Yes, of course I only meant that you should create a tutorial, assuming your were a committed user of RedNotebook, and only after you'd successfully got it working with a proper encryption routine.

Beside TrueCrypt - which might be overkill for your needs, you might also want to check out
http://www.axantum.com/axCrypt/

Haven't used it myself, not nearly as widely used, not as many features nor cross-platform, but looks a bit simpler.

Simplest is the 7-zip solution, could be automated via a batch file as part of the launch-RN process, if you don't know how to do that ask a techie friend to help.

And again if you get a solution, come back and share it!

Good luck. . .

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